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Book Review: Good Girls Don’t Get Fat

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Reading, Size Acceptance | Posted on 18-06-2012

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Good Girls Don't Get FatGood Girls Don’t Get Fat by Robyn Sil­ver­man
My rat­ing: 5 of 5 stars

This book is absolute­ly amaz­ing, and I strong­ly rec­om­mend it to every­one.

Yes, I said every­one. If you are a human being who is read­ing this post/​review, you live in a first-world soci­ety and you inter­act with females. You will ben­e­fit from a greater under­stand­ing of what mod­ern social stan­dards do to young females and how they shape us for the rest of our lives, how they twist us into dis­or­dered think­ing that touch­es absolute­ly every­thing we do, from how we think about our­selves to our per­son­al and busi­ness rela­tion­ships, our spir­i­tu­al­i­ty, our health — every­thing. And you will have an oppor­tu­ni­ty to change how you inter­act with females, par­tic­u­lar­ly girls, so that you are more of a pos­i­tive influ­ence rather than yet anoth­er per­son who is pulling her down and hold­ing her back.

I was already famil­iar with some of the research regard­ing the media and unre­al­is­tic por­tray­als of women. I knew that every mag­a­zine cov­er is Pho­to­shopped and air­brushed, that “nor­mal” mod­els rep­re­sent only 1 – 2% of real women, etc. I didn’t know that 5% of Amer­i­can high school girls have turned to tak­ing ana­bol­ic steroids in order to get a more toned, slim look, accord­ing to the CDC’s 2003 Youth Risk Behav­ior Sur­veil­lance Sys­tem, and that one out of every 14 girls in Amer­i­can mid­dle schools have tried steroids for the same pur­pose. I had heard that the pop­u­lar­i­ty of cos­met­ic surgery for young peo­ple was ris­ing, but I had no idea that it was as preva­lent as it is. I can’t remem­ber exact­ly how high, but it was fright­en­ing.

If there is a young lady in your life, stop for a moment and think — are you a pos­i­tive influ­ence on her? When young women in col­lege were asked about what they recall their par­ents say­ing about their bod­ies as they grew up, 80% of the respons­es were of neg­a­tive remarks. What will the girl in your life remem­ber you say­ing? If you’ve ever won­dered whether or not you should talk to her about los­ing a lit­tle weight, don’t. Believe me — the rest of the world has already beat­en that into her, and will go on doing so every minute of every day. There’s no way she doesn’t know that her body is unac­cept­able, whether she’s still car­ry­ing a lit­tle baby fat, is mor­bid­ly obese, or sim­ply has a slight­ly round face.

One of the things I admire most about Good Girls Don’t Get Fat is that it doesn’t just talk about how bad things are, it gives con­crete sug­ges­tions for improve­ment! That’s what we need.

The book is avail­able in any for­mat you can imag­ine. Pick it up. It’s an easy read, and won­der­ful.

View all my reviews

Kids Today

Posted by Cyn | Posted in NaBloPoMo | Posted on 28-03-2012

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Plinky said, “Name three advan­tages that kids born these days have over old­er gen­er­a­tions. What about dis­ad­van­tages?

Inter­net I

1) The inter­net. I can hard­ly imag­ine what it would have been like to have ready access to so much infor­ma­tion at an ear­ly age!

2) Ubiq­ui­tous con­nec­tiv­i­ty. Even for those like my daugh­ter who don’t remem­ber a time with­out the inter­net, being able to con­nect every­where is a new thing that kids born now will take for grant­ed.

3) Con­stant com­mu­ni­ca­tion. These kids are unlike­ly to ever walk five miles to the near­est gas sta­tion if they run out of gas, because they’ll have cell phones so they can call for help. There are few­er and few­er places with­out cell cov­er­age, too.

As for dis­ad­van­tages:

1) They’ll nev­er know a world with­out sur­veil­lance. They’ll be mon­i­tored con­stant­ly from cra­dle to grave, offi­cial­ly or unof­fi­cial­ly.

2) There are few­er and few­er wild places where they can go to get away and just be kids, run­ning around with­out a phone ring­ing or an adult mon­i­tor­ing them in some way. I spent many hours in the woods as a child, but it wasn’t safe for my daugh­ter to do the same thing.

3) The same inter­net that brings them such mar­velous infor­ma­tion brings them into con­tact with more peo­ple as chil­dren than their grand­par­ents ever knew, thus increas­ing the like­li­hood that they’ll encounter preda­tors. With­out care­ful mon­i­tor­ing, they can all too eas­i­ly become vic­tims.

Powered by Plinky

Who do you trust with your children?

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Family, News, Parenting | Posted on 26-06-2011

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I keep see­ing news sto­ries about kids dying in day­care or at the hands of oth­er peo­ple to whom their par­ents have entrust­ed them, and every time there is so much shock and rage as if peo­ple can’t believe it’s hap­pen­ing. I am so tired of it. Pay atten­tion!

How many of the peo­ple in these cen­ters did the par­ents actu­al­ly meet before leav­ing their chil­dren there? Did they meet any­one? Did they spend any time there?

If you leave your chil­dren with child­care providers, how did you choose them? How well did you vet them? How often do you drop by unex­pect­ed­ly?

Would you trust every sin­gle per­son in that facil­i­ty with your car keys? Just hand them over and let any of them dri­ve your brand new ride away, no ques­tions asked?

How about your wal­let? Just give it over, tell them your ATM or cred­it card PINs, give them carte blanche?

If the answer to both of the ques­tions isn’t yes, why are you leav­ing your chil­dren with them?

TotD: Doris Lessing on Education

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Education, Thought of the Day | Posted on 16-07-2008

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The Golden NotebookDoris Less­ing, Intro­duc­tion to The Gold­en Note­book

Ide­al­ly, what should be said to every child, repeat­ed­ly, through­out his or her school life is some­thing like this:

“You are in the process of being indoc­tri­nat­ed. We have not yet evolved a sys­tem of edu­ca­tion that is not a sys­tem of indoc­tri­na­tion. We are sor­ry, but it is the best we can do. What you are being taught here is an amal­gam of cur­rent prej­u­dice and the choic­es of this par­tic­u­lar cul­ture. The slight­est look at his­to­ry will show how imper­ma­nent these must be. You are being taught by peo­ple who have been able to accom­mo­date them­selves to a régime of thought laid down by their pre­de­ces­sors. It is a self-per­pet­u­at­ing sys­tem. Those of you who are more robust and indi­vid­ual than oth­ers will be encour­aged to leave and find ways of edu­cat­ing your­self – edu­cat­ing your own judge­ments. Those that stay must remem­ber, always, and all the time, that they are being mould­ed and pat­terned to fit into the nar­row and par­tic­u­lar needs of this par­tic­u­lar soci­ety.”

Best Star Wars Synopsis Evar!

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Fun, Humor, Movies | Posted on 27-02-2008

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Jen, the lit­tle one reminds me of Cherub!

Hat tip to Noël Figart 😉

Reading

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Education, Family, Home, Homeschooling, Parenting, Reading, Relationships | Posted on 21-11-2007

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So, the Crazy Hip Blog Mamas want me to talk about what read­ing means to me or my child. How about both?
Katie reading
You might have noticed that I talk, a lot, about read­ing. I think Now Read­ing shows at least four five of the books that I’m read­ing right now, and that’s a fair­ly nor­mal num­ber. I don’t include my text­books, because they’d be there too long!

Read­ing is one of the things that I can still do, most of the time, despite the fibro and oth­er crap. I can’t always man­age to read on a screen, or fol­low some­thing like a text­book. For­tu­nate­ly, though, fic­tion by some of my favorite authors — espe­cial­ly an old favorite nov­el, like Part­ners in Neces­si­ty — is eas­i­er, and is a very good way to dis­tract myself from the pain for a while.

I haven’t talked about it much, but Katie has had increas­ing health prob­lems over the last year. Her migraines are no longer man­aged, despite tak­ing high lev­els of pre­ven­tive med­ica­tions. The res­cue med­ica­tions aren’t work­ing well because she has to take them too often. She had anoth­er round of sleep stud­ies, too, and a new neu­rol­o­gist has been try­ing dif­fer­ent med­ica­tions to help her get a decent night’s sleep (which should help the migraines and oth­er prob­lems). So far, any­thing that helps her sleep despite severe rest­less leg syn­drome leaves her zomb­i­fied the rest of the time. Provig­il, even tak­en twice a day, can’t keep her awake and aware enough to func­tion in school. She’s lit­er­al­ly sleep­ing like a cat, 14 – 18 or hours a day, just nev­er deeply. Her dark cir­cles have cir­cles, now.

But she can still read, too. Slow­ly, some days, and going back to re-read some pages, but she gets the same com­fort from it as I do. You know she’s mine when you real­ize that she’s nev­er with­out at least one, and often two, books in her purse.

I start­ed read­ing to her dur­ing my preg­nan­cy, along with talk­ing and singing and play­ing music for her. I read out loud to her from her first week out of the womb, too, some­times while breast­feed­ing, oth­er times while just being with her. She talked at an ear­ly age, and was very clear. She learned to read quick­ly, too, and has always been very opin­ion­at­ed (where did she get that?) about her choice of read­ing mat­ter. One of her favorite things about leav­ing the pub­lic school sys­tem was being free of that damned Accel­er­at­ed Read­er pro­gram and its ridicu­lous restric­tions!

It’s no sur­prise that I hope my nephews and niece are read­ers, too — although that’s far less like­ly, since their par­ents aren’t, real­ly. My broth­er used to brag that he’d nev­er read any whole book, even those assigned for class­es. (I nev­er under­stood that being a point of pride, even if he did get good grades.) My sis­ter has nev­er read any­thing that wasn’t required. I don’t know their spous­es very well, but I’m fair­ly sure they aren’t recre­ation­al read­ers, either. At least the grand­ba­bies have our moth­er (their Nana), who got me start­ed read­ing, and will sit for hours with any child, read­ing book after book (or the same book, over and over) patient­ly.1 I’m not close to my sib­lings, geo­graph­i­cal­ly or oth­er­wise, so I don’t have many chances to influ­ence the babies. I can give them books, though, and hope to catch their fan­cy so they ask to have them read!

Being a flu­ent read­er gives one more of an advan­tage that any oth­er skill you can give your child. Read­ers can use that skill to learn absolute­ly any­thing else. They can explore math, sci­ence, crit­i­cal think­ing, his­to­ry, cur­rent events, art — you name it. If you teach them to read, get them in the habit of doing so, and teach them to judge their sources well, you’ve giv­en them an incred­i­ble start on life.


1 Mom (and I!) did read to my sib­lings, but nei­ther of them ever want­ed to sit still long.

Study: ADHD kids’ brain areas develop slower — CNN​.com

Posted by Cyn | Posted in Education, Family, Health, News | Posted on 19-11-2007

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Expert: Find­ing shows bio­log­i­cal basis for atten­tion deficit hyper­ac­tiv­i­ty dis­or­der

Cru­cial parts of brains of chil­dren with atten­tion deficit dis­or­der devel­op more slow­ly than oth­er young­sters’ brains, a phe­nom­e­non that ear­li­er brain-imag­ing research missed, a new study says.

ADHD Brain Maturation

Devel­op­ing more slow­ly in ADHD young­sters — the lag can be as much as three years — are brain regions that sup­press inap­pro­pri­ate actions and thoughts, focus atten­tion, remem­ber things from moment to moment, work for reward and con­trol move­ment. That was the find­ing of researchers, led by Dr. Philip Shaw of the Nation­al Insti­tute of Men­tal Health, who report­ed the most detailed study yet on this prob­lem in Monday’s online edi­tion of Pro­ceed­ings of the Nation­al Acad­e­my of Sci­ences.

I’ve gone from seri­ous­ly not believ­ing that ADHD exist­ed at all, to being forced to under­stand its real­i­ty because my life part­ner, his kids, and my daugh­ter all have it. These find­ings are a major advance!

I still know that plen­ty of peo­ple (par­tic­u­lar­ly bad par­ents) use ADHD as an excuse, but that can hap­pen with any dis­or­der, real or imag­ined.

There’s fur­ther infor­ma­tion at the Nation­al Insti­tute for Men­tal Health, where the research was done.